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Action Research
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Action Research
Improving Schools and Empowering Educators

Sixth Edition
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July 2019 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators introduces both novice and experienced practicing educators to the process of designing and conducting classroom-based action research in order to make their instructional practices more effective. This practical text focuses on the research methods and procedures that educators can use in their everyday instructional practices, classroom activities, and school procedures. Using over 20 years of teaching experience, author Craig A. Mertler provides insightful coverage of the knowledge and skills needed to design research studies, conduct research, and communicate findings to relevant stakeholders.

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SAGE edge gives instructors and students the edge they need to succeed with an array of teaching and learning tools in one easy-to-navigate website. Learn more: edge.sagepub.com/mertler6e


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
PART I • WHAT IS ACTION RESEARCH?
 
CHAPTER 1 • Introduction to Action Research
Chapter 1 Organizer  
What Is Action Research?  
The Importance of Action Research  
Applications of Action Research  
Rigor in Action Research  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
CHAPTER 2 • Overview of the Action Research Process
Chapter 2 Organizer  
Stages and Steps in Action Research  
The Planning Stage  
The Acting Stage  
The Developing Stage  
The Reflecting Stage  
A Brief Example  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
PART II • HOW DO I BEGIN MY ACTION RESEARCH STUDY?
 
CHAPTER 3 • Planning for Action Research and Reviewing Related Literature
Chapter 3 Organizer  
Identifying a Topic for Research  
Gathering Preliminary Information  
Reviewing the Related Literature  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
CHAPTER 4 • Developing a Research Plan
Chapter 4 Organizer  
Research Questions  
Basic Research Designs  
Ethical Considerations in Your Research  
Getting Organized for Your Research  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
PART III • WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THESE DATA?
 
CHAPTER 5 • Collecting Data
Chapter 5 Organizer  
Qualitative Data Collection Techniques  
Quantitative Data Collection Techniques  
Notes About Ethics and Data Collection  
A Final Note About Organization and Alignment  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
CHAPTER 6 • Analyzing Data
Chapter 6 Organizer  
Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques  
Quantitative Data Analysis Techniques  
A Note About Mixed-Methods Data Analysis  
Reporting the Results of Data Analysis  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
PART IV • I’VE GOT RESULTS! . . . NOW WHAT?
 
CHAPTER 7 • Next Steps and Future Cycles: Developing an Action Plan
Chapter 7 Organizer  
Developing Action Plans  
Levels of Action Plans  
Action Planning: A Time for Reflection  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
CHAPTER 8 • Writing an Action Research Report
Chapter 8 Organizer  
Conventions of Academic Writing  
A Word About Ethics When Writing Research Reports  
Practical Guidelines for Writing  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
CHAPTER 9 • Sharing and Reflecting
Chapter 9 Organizer  
Communicating the Results of Action Research  
Reflecting on the Action Research Process  
Summary  
Questions and Activities  
Key Terms  
Student Study Site  
Conducting Action Research  
 
Appendix A. Sample Action Research Report: What Is the Impact of Positive Female Role Models and Mentoring Opportunities on the Self-Efficacy of Girls in Science?
 
Appendix B. Sample Action Research Report: The Relationship Between the Strategy of Knowledge Folders and Study Skills
 
Appendix C. Action Research Developmental Templates
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Instructor Teaching Site

edge.sagepub.com/mertler6e
 
SAGE edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • chapter-specific discussion questions that help launch classroom interaction and reinforce learning of important chapter topics;
  • chapter outlines summarizing key points that can be used as lecture notes or in-class handouts;
  • an author introduction video explaining important changes between editions;
  • an author video interview defining action research, discussing its benefits for practitioners, and explaining the importance of “critical friends” in the process;
  • engaging video vignettes in each chapter featuring the author and other practitioner-researchers explaining key points from the book and offering insight into the practice and process of action research;
  • author-created interactive PDF Action Research Developmental Templates provided to guide the novice action researcher through many of the steps and decisions in the process of designing and conducting original action research;
  • a link to the author’s Action Research Mentor App which assists professional educators, as well as individuals in other professions, in designing action research studies for their particular settings; and
  • Sample Action Research Reports providing useful examples to draw on when writing an action research report; 
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • an author introduction video explaining important changes between editions;
  • an author video interview defining action research, discussing its benefits for practitioners, and explaining the importance of “critical friends” in the process;
  • author-created interactive PDF Action Research Developmental Templates provided to guide the novice action researcher through many of the steps and decisions in the process of designing and conducting original action research;
  • engaging video vignettes in each chapter featuring the author and other practitioner-researchers explaining key points from the book and offering insight into the practice and process of action research;
  • Sample Action Research Reports providing useful examples to draw on when writing an action research report;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention; and
  • a link to the author’s Action Research Mentor App which assists individuals in designing action research studies for their particular settings.

 

 

Action Research is easy to read, it covers the basic tenets of action research without going overboard, and it comes from the viewpoint of lifelong researching. I’ve reviewed other texts that have two of those three qualities, but this is the first book I’ve seen with all three.”

Tamarah M. Ashton
California State University, Northridge

Action Research is a book that I wish I had as a student. In this fine book, Craig A. Mertler effectively informs, guides, and assists readers along their path to understanding and conducting action research. A needed addition to the field!”

Carole S. Rhodes
Queens College, City University of New York

Action Research is a perfect fit for master’s students. It is well-written and especially well scaffolded.”

Annamary L. Consalvo
The University of Texas at Tyler

Action Research is interactive and practically applied to the classroom setting.”

Elizabeth D. Cramer
Florida International University
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • A third Action Research Case Study has been added and demonstrates application in the broad area of special education.
  • The reorganization of end-of-chapter sections into one new Conducting Action Research section streamlines supportive material for better organization and presentation.
  • A brief history of action research has been added to Chapter 1, broadening its introductory presentation to include history, problems of practice, and various approaches used in schools.
  • Discussions on different forms of action research, including participatory action research and practical action research, have been added to Chapter 1.
  • A presentation and discussion of the nature of “problems of practice” has been added to Chapter 1 and provides a comprehensive explanation of what is meant by this often intimidating term.
  • The stages and steps of action research have been better integrated in order to provide a more coherent presentation of the process in Chapter 2.
  • Discussions of additional searchable databases have been added to Chapter 3 and include helpful examples along with a brief explanation of each.
  • An example of an organizational table for ensuring alignment between research questions and data sources has been included in Chapter 5, showing students how to maintain organization of their research while ensuring their proposed data and analyses remains aligned with addressing their research questions.
  • Additional journals in the field of action research are listed in Chapter 9 and are focused on classroom-based, teacher-conducted research.

KEY FEATURES:

  • The text is organized sequentially mirroring an action research study, presenting the process of designing and conducting an action research study. (However, it is important to note that action research proceeds through this process in a cyclical manner.)
  • Three Action Research Case Studies provide detailed scenarios of action research and extend throughout each chapter. In each chapter, the case study discussions continue from the previous section, highlighting the application of content as integrated into three practically based action research studies.
  • Numerous, detailed examples throughout the book, including examples provided by the author and from published action research studies, support students’ understanding and bring content to life.
  • A helpful visual organizer for the main contents is found on the first page of each chapter, providing students with clear guidelines of what to anticipate.
  • A final Questions and Activities section found in every chapter can be used to extend student knowledge, understanding, and application.

For instructors

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